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Shaunie O’Neal

It’s reunion time for the ladies of Basketball Wives with the first part of the drama (if you can call it that) airing last night. Former NBA star John Salley is back to regulate host the ladies as they reminisce about the third season.

Tami’s wig hair combined with Shaunie’s dress distracts me at first, but a clip of Royce blasting the ladies on last season’s reunion brings me back up to speed. When questioned about the new attitude she found last season, Royce explains she is just being herself. And the real Royce wears Larry Byrd tube socks, not Gucci shoes, to go luxury car shopping. Royce calls out Jen for claiming Jen’s makeover of Royce was her “good deed for the day.” Not one to be one-upped in passive aggression, Jen says, “I don’t hear anyone talking. What’s the next question?”

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The first part of the Basketball Wives season 3 reunion airs tonight on VH1!

Following what can only be described as the most dramatic season yet, the ladies gather together in the same room to rehash some of the season’s most dramatic moments. Meeka and Tami will get into it again, while Royce will of course argue with the “circle.” John Salley returns to host the show again this year. It airs tonight at 8/7c on VH1 and a preview clip is below! There are also rumors that Eric Williams might make an appearance on the show (part 1 or part 2) to discuss the drink tossing incident.

In other news, the show’s resident sh*t starter executive producer Shaunie O’Neal is now speaking out against the recent fighting on the show. This is after it came out that the episode featuring the Tami Roman and Meeka Claxton fight was one of the highest rated of the season. In fact, last week’s finale episode with the drink throwing incident was its highest rated in over 2 years with over 2.6 million viewers tuning in.

Well Shaunie is now claiming she is embarrassed by what the show has become. “When I started the show I really just wanted to follow this group of ladies around. We all have a common bond; we understand each others’ lives. It started as that. Since then, it’s taken on a life of its own,” Shaunie told FOX411’s Pop Tarts. “I never imagined it would be a group of ladies fighting and arguing that way that they do. That was never part of the plan.”

It didn’t end there as Shaunie reveals she feels conflicted that the episodes with the fights garner higher ratings. “I hate that it has to be a fight or an argument that gives us 4.2 million viewers. I hate that, but it’s something where I’m working as hard as I can to show some type of balance, because it is there. We’re going to try to do more of that in season four,” she said. “I know that people love the fighting and the arguing, but I do want to have some positive in there somewhere.” Right Shaunie. Are you buying it?

The Basketball Wives reunion preview is below!

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE PREVIEW & REUNION? PLUS THOUGHTS ON SHAUNIE’S COMMENTS? DO YOU BELIEVE SHE HATES ALL THE FIGHTING?

On last night’s Basketball Wives, all hell broke loose between Tami and Meeka in a Roman nightclub, Jevelyn kissed and made up, and Suzie found herself stuck in the middle of things…and getting back in good with the mean popular girls because of it.

After the fight over Jen’s radio interview, Tami is able to break into Evelyn’s room. She’s lying in bed and Shaunie asks her to please talk to Jen and see how upset she is. Evelyn is indifferent to Jen’s teary apology, but she quickly warms as Jen’s waterworks turn on full force. Jen can see why Evelyn was upset, Evelyn hates to see her friend cry, and the two hug it out.

The group heads to dinner and Tami makes a huge ordeal about not wanting to sit next to Meeka. She then begins imitating Meeka with a forced whisper and Shaunie and Evelyn are stuck in high school as they can’t contain their giggles. When Meeka tells Tami to grow up (not smart, Meeka), Tami is not amused. Apparently, before the pair met, Meeka talked crap about Tami’s weave, and Tami thinks that is not okay coming from a transvestite Mary J. Blige. Mary J. Blige drag queens everywhere are understandably insulted. Tami and Meeka start arguing, and Evelyn tells the table what Meeka told her about Tami’s weave. Finally Meeka admits that her comment wasn’t necessarily nice, and Tami wants to know why she didn’t talk her weave trash to Tami’s face. Well, that’s easy! Tami’s weave looked good when Meeka finally met her. And the ladies think Meeka talks in circles. Please!

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On tonight’s Basketball Wives, Evelyn Lozado confronts Jennifer Williams about a radio interview she gave regarding Evelyn’s engagement to Chad Ochocinco. On last week’s episode, Evelyn and her friend Noe implied Jennifer was jealous of the engagement, and Jennifer is now speaking out about it.

Jennifer tells the HollywoodLife, “I just want to clear the air about this whole Evelyn and Chad engagement. Evelyn did not call and tell me that she got engaged, she tweeted something and people starting asking me. So I was waiting for her to call me and tell me the news, and she didn’t tell me for quite some time.”

Watching last week’s episode was surprising to her as well. She reveals, “For her and Noe to imply that I was jealous was a little shocking. I have no need to be jealous, I have been married and I know what it is like to be a wife.” And now she’ll know what it feels like to be an ex-wife once her divorce to Eric Williams is finalized.

Jennifer claims she was merely stating her concerns about her friend’s relationship with Chad. In fact she reveals she told Evelyn the same, admitting, “When I did speak to her [about her engagement], I expressed my concerns because she had just gotten out of a bad relationship and I didn’t want to see her hurt again. Evelyn and I were friends way before this show. I have watched her and helped her through two breakups with Antoine Walker just as she has watched me get married and helped me cope with my divorce.”

Moving right along to sh*t stirrer Shaunie O’Neal who has recently spoken out about, specifically the portrayal of black women on the show. With the new Los Angeles cast already raising eyebrows, Shaunie has a lot to say, and she’s mainly pointing fingers at the West Coast ladies for being ‘trashy.’ She tells BET, “The L.A. cast — there are some wives and fiancés, which I’m fine with. But there’s a little bit of trash kind of sprinkled into that cast that I’m totally against.”

In case you planned on blaming her for any Los Angeles drama, as she is Executive Producer of the series, Shaunie is quick to say, “I was really very hands off with that cast. It’s just drama and…that’s not my vision. I don’t think that all money is good money. I don’t need it that bad. So we are having some issues.” So how is the show’s creator handing the issues? Two words: she’s not. Why would she? Issues create drama and drama drives the ratings! Although according to Shaunie, it seems she lost the fight to have less drama. She admits, “I’ve kind of just had to take a backseat and shut up and just let it go, let it ride. It’s David and Goliath right now.”

So tonight’s battle will be between Jennifer and Evelyn over the radio interview, while next season’s battle will be between the Executive Producer and the new cast stealing said producer’s limelight over acting like ladies and not causing drama. Can’t wait to see how each plays out!

DO YOU THINK JENNIFER IS JEALOUS OVER EVELYN’S ENGAGEMENT? DO YOU BELIEVE SHAUNIE WANTS LESS DRAMA ON THE SHOW?

After taking heat for the portrayal of black women on Vh1’s Basketball Wives, Executive drama starter Producer, Shanunie O’Neal is speaking out in an article she wrote for, of all places, CNN.

Explaining her motivation for creating Basketball Wives, Shaunie describes: “I wanted to show what life is really like when you are with a professional athlete — and that sometimes all that glitters isn’t gold…” Of course, what came with that was non-stop drama off the court that totally eclipsed anything happening on it!

Of course, Shaunie defends her money making venture show and all the screaming and backstabbing that goes with it (because otherwise who would watch): “As you see on the show, I’m not a big supporter of the bickering, drink throwing and fighting, but when you put a group of strong, independent and vocal women who are going through or just came out of a bad relationship together, there’s bound to be a little drama…”

As for criticism of how black women are depicted on Basketball Wives, according to Shaunie she is well aware: “I certainly understand the opinion that the shows portrayal of black women is beginning to look somewhat negative. ” Shaunie goes onto describe: “The problem for me is when black women are portrayed as only being that way and labeled different than their non-black counterparts for the same type of behavior. That’s when it becomes negative and damaging to our image.” Good point – I think some recent episodes of Real Housewives of Orange County demonstrate that!

Shaunie better have her defenses up for the upcoming Basketball Wives: Los Angeles because the dramz has already started! NBA star Gilbert Arenas is claiming castmember Laura Govan who is the baby mama of his three children with another on the way, is illegally exploiting him by participating in the show so, according to TMZ, he is suing to prevent the show from airing!

According to the lawsuit, even though he will not be mentioned by name on the show, his name was already used in the press release to describe Govan’s relationship to professional basketball and “the very presence of defendant Govan and the title of the show is an obvious reference to [Arenas].” In addition to asking the judge to issue an injunction banning the show from airing, Arenas also wants cold hard cash.

Arenas also asserts Govan isn’t a Basketball Wife (true, but are ANY of them?!) but signed up for the show because she wants her 15 minutes of fame on the Tee Vee. Laura who was with Arenas for years but never married, also allegedly had an affair with Shaunie’s ex husband Shaquille O’Neal! Yikes! A picture of Arenas is below.

Laura photo credit – Jonavennci Divad.

So, what do you think of Shaunie’s explaination of how Basketball Wives portrays black women? Will you be watching Basketball Wives: Los Angeles?

Eric who? It seems Basketball Wives star Jennifer Williams is doing just fine after filing for divorce from husband Eric Williams.

Jennifer has a new boyfriend according to the Necole Bitchie blog, who spotted Jennifer above with her new beau Lucas James at a recent event. So who is Lucas? Just an upgrade from Eric a celebrity trainer/nutritionist.

The Bossip blog adds that Jennifer and Lucas became official over the Memorial Day weekend, and the two have been spotted getting cozy in New York, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Miami. In fact Jennifer confirmed she is indeed dating Lucas and when asked if he’s going to be on the show, she answered no.

Lucas is described as a personal trainer with a “luxurious healthy lifestyle company,” who pushes his high-end clientele to make weight-loss a lifestyle as opposed to just a gym routine. Lucas however has a background in reality television. In 2008, he won “Date My Ex: Jo & Slade”, which starred Jo De La Rosa and Slade Smiley of the Real Housewives of Orange County.

More photos of Lucas and Jen below! And as for Eric, he tweeted days ago that Jen had gone “Hollywood.”

Meanwhile, the Basketball Wives threw a premiere party over the weekend in New Jersey sans Royce and Tami. Photos from that party below plus a photo of Jennifer with Nene Leakes at the BET Awards!

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON JENNIFER’S NEW BOYFRIEND? UPGRADE FROM ERIC?

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On last night’s episode of Basketball Wives, Shaunie O’Neal gets the ladies together in NYC for some bonding and some peer mediation – but leaves instigator Meeka Claxton out of the loop! Jennifer Williams goes on a blind date with a new Eric, Suzie Ketcham and Royce Reed stay behind in Miami and therefore stay out of the drama, and Tami Roman and Evelyn Lozado make amends without coming to blows!

Things start off with Suzie meeting up with Meeka to discuss the argument at the Polo Match. Suzie is taking Meeka’s side, probably thinking that is the side Evelyn will be on so she can impress the mean girls with her ability to quickly ditch Royce. Meeka admits she probably should not have gotten involved in all the dramz and that her and Tami do not mesh. Taking an Evelyn like attitude about people not mattering if she doesn’t want them to, Meeka advises Tami to keep a move on. She also advises Suzie to stay out of things! Um, pot meet kettle!

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Basketball Wives LA

Following the mega success of Basketball Wives, VH1 is now planning to expand the series with a new spinoff!

The network announced this week that Basketball Wives L.A. will debut in August! The new series is descried as “explosive” and will follow the lives of the wives and girlfriends of players on both the Lakers and their cross-town rivals, the Clippers.

The Basketball Wives LA cast includes: Kimsha Artest (wife of Ron Artest, Los Angeles Lakers), Gloria Govan (fiancée of Matt Barnes, Los Angeles Lakers), Laura Govan (sister of Gloria Govan and former fiance of NBA player Gilbert Arenas whom she has three kids by), Jackie Christie (wife of Doug Christie, former player for the Los Angeles Clippers) and Imani Showalter (fiancée of Stephen Jackson, Charlotte Bobcats) as well as others.

Shaunie O’Neal will also serve as the executive producer of this 10 episode, hour-long series. The press release promises “cameras will follow these women as they attempt to juggle their relationships, infidelity issues, children and friendships while trying to find the perfect balance between supporting their families and realizing their own career ambitions.”

“Basketball Wives LA” is coming to VH1 Monday, August 29 at 8 PM ET/PT.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE NEW SERIES & CAST? ARE YOU EXCITED?

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